Is this swine flu virus contagious?
CDC has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human.
However, at this time, it not known how easily the virus spreads between people.
What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.
In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people.
Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
How long can viruses live outside the body?
We know that some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks.
Frequent handwashing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.
How does swine flu spread?
Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads.
Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza.
Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air.
Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.
How can someone with the flu infect someone else?
Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick.
That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu.
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.
Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
-Avoid touching / leaning against public buildings/ fixtures/ objects if possible.
-Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
-Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
-Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
-If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school
and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?
If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible.
Do not go to work or school if ill.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue.
Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.
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